I made a post yesterday to show my highlighting from my reading of 1st Corinthians and mentioned that I think I need a digital detox. And I decided today to take that digital detox. I wanted to write a bit about why I came to that decision just in case you have been feeling the way I have.
As most of the world knows, we are currently in the middle (maybe?) of the COVID-19 pandemic. With that comes the following:
- constant news updates (almost every half hour)
- its the topic of EVERY conversation
- every part of life seems to be impacted
- negative feelings and emotions about what we are doing/not doing with this time
Can I just say I am over it all? This virus is serious yet instead of focusing on praying for the sick, the family of those that have passed away, or those impacted, I am just complaining (and hearing complaints). As a Christian, my fear should not be in what’s happening around me. My faith should be shining through in moments like this. People should be able to turn to the body of Christ for light. (I know there has been a thing recently about not telling people how they should feel and what they should be doing. While I agree with that for most things, I do know that the Bible tells us to do the beforementioned in times like this, so I won’t stop saying those things. Even if our flesh isn’t allowing us to do it at the moment.)
So after a particularly moody week, I decided just to pull back from what is causing me so much angst and turn towards what will have me keeping my eyes focused on Jesus (Hebrews 12v.2). Here is what I will personally be doing this week.
- unplugging from ALL social media (I will be deleting the apps to remove temptation)
- disabling all notifications for news apps or any other apps that are delivering COVID updates
- not reading or responding to messages, calls or emails unless they are emergencies (emergency means an illness, death or prayer request for everyone else besides my husband)
- spend more time reading and studying my Bible
- journaling to God
- praying more
- writing (I’ve learned that the more I am focused on God, the more my creative juices flow)
- reading and learning (my leisure activities)
- spend as much time outside as possible
I hope that you are able to unplug for a bit this week in whatever way that looks like for you!
I typed the above part of this post this morning before I watched our church service. (Don’t judge me.) And I just want to point out how good God is and how I love that He will confirm and affirm for us when we are doing something right. Today’s message was obviously about Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem in John 12. But that triumphal entry would not have been possible without the triumphal tragedy that happened with Lazarus’ death in John 11. Pastor Tim made comparisons between that time and what is happening now.
He gave two paradoxical statements:
John 11v.5,6 “Jesus loved…He stayed”
John 11v.14,15 “Lazarus is dead…I am glad”
Here are some points from the message that spoke to me.
John 12v.16 Sometimes when you are going through things, you won’t understand until after it is over.
John 11 – The triumphal entry of chapter 12 starts here with Lazarus’ death
v.4 – This sickness with not end in death.
v. 5 – Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus
v. 6 – because of that love; so/therefore He stayed for two more days (He doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we want because He has something greater in store for us. Ephesians 3:20)
v. 14 Lazarus is dead (remember v.4 tells us this will not end in death, not that he won’t go through death)
v. 15 I am glad…so that you may believe. (There is purpose.)
v. 35 Jesus wept. (Jesus had feelings and expressed them. But He was still glad. We need to learn to navigate faith in feelings)
v. 45 Therefore, many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what he did believed in him.
v. 9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned he was there. They came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, the one he had raised from the dead. (the same group from chapter 11)
v. 12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!” (this would not have been possible if the tradegy in chapter 11 didn’t happen)
v. 27 Jesus again expresses His feelings for a situation that must happen.
Philippians 1 (Paul tells us about his time in prison)
v. 12 – what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel
v. 14 because of my chains
2nd Corinthians 12 (Paul speaks about his unanswered prayer)
v. 7 I was given a thorn in my flesh
v. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me (another prayer not answered it seems)
v. 9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (the reason the prayer is not answered. God’s glory!)
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities (NKJV) (Paul’s response)
v. 10 I take pleasure in my infirmities (Paul is choosing to take pleasure)
Y’all God is so good. Even through everything that is going on right now. God will use all of this for His glory. Continue to lean into God during this time. “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over – will be poured into your lap.” – Luke 6v.26 Here is a verse that is bringing me comfort right now:
His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:26-29 CSB
I’m praying for you!